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Executive Movements - December 2019

Nathan’s Famous Hires Industry Veterans to Lead Franchise Development and Operations

Erik Mallon and Jim Hicks join iconic brand to usher in a new stage of growth in 2020

December 10, 2019 01:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

JERICHO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nathan’s Famous, Inc, one of America’s oldest traditions serving the flavor of New York for more than 100 years, announces today the hiring of two industry veterans, Erik Mallon and Jim Hicks, to bolster its franchise sales and development teams. Both bring over 25 years of restaurant and franchise experience to the Nathan’s Famous brand.

Erik Mallon will serve as Senior Director of Franchise Development, and Jim Hicks assumes the role of Director of Operational Services and Training.

“The past year has been a busy one as we’ve readied Nathan’s Famous for new franchise growth and development," states James Walker, Senior Vice President, Restaurants. "Hiring these two industry veterans helps us close out 2019 strong, and prepare for our growth plans beginning in 2020. I’m excited to have Erik and Jim join our team, their reputations have certainly preceded them, and I know they will help us to continue to serve the flavor of New York in new stores across the country.”

Erik Mallon

Erik Mallon is a sales, operations, and franchise industry executive with over 25 years of experience in both domestic and international markets. He has worked with various retail companies and QSR’s, both as a franchisee and a franchisor. Erik began his tenure with My Gym Children's Fitness Center as a multi-unit Area Developer. He quickly moved into franchising, where he was VP, Franchise Development, and President, International Division. Through Master Franchise Agreements, he expanded the My Gym brand to over 30 international markets. Erik was also a multi-unit franchisee with 16 Handles for more than eight years and became VP, Franchise Development when the company expanded its franchising efforts. Most recently, Erik served as the Director of Company Center Operations and VP, Franchise Development for Huntington Learning Centers, where he spearheaded the successful re-franchising effort of company-owned centers.

At Nathan’s Famous, as the Senior Director of Franchise Development, Erik Mallon will focus on the sales process from initial solicitation through contract completion.

Jim Hicks

Jim Hicks joins Nathan's Famous with over 25 years of senior management experience in restaurant operations and corporate support. Most recently, Jim was Country Director, US West for Subway, where he was responsible for 5,300 locations in 13 western states. Before Subway, Jim was the Senior Vice President of North America for Johnny Rockets. His career also includes senior-level positions at Fresh Enterprises, El Pollo Loco, and Prandium Restaurants (Koo Koo Roo, Hamburger Hamlet, and Chi Chi’s Mexican).

Jim Hicks will support existing Nathan’s Famous franchisees and their management teams by developing new systems and procedures to maximize sales for each store, manage the supply chain, as well as work with new franchisees through the various stages of the restaurant development process.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Erik and Jim join our team,” continues Walker. “I look forward to the incredible work they’ll do for Nathan’s Famous in 2020 and beyond.”

To learn more about franchise opportunities with Nathan’s Famous, visit

About Nathan’s Famous:

Nathan’s is a Russell 2000 Company that currently distributes its products in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and 14 foreign countries through its restaurant system, foodservice sales programs and product licensing activities. Last year, over 700 million Nathan’s Famous hot dogs were sold. Nathan’s was ranked #22 on the Forbes 2014 list of the Best Small Companies in America and was listed as the Best Small Company in New York State in October 2013. For additional information about Nathan’s, please visit our website at

View source version at Nathan's Famous

McDonald's Names Ian Borden as President, International

Newly created role encompasses all international markets, reporting to CEO

Dec 10, 2019, 06:55 ET

CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonald's Corporation ("the Company") (NYSE: MCD) today announced that Ian Borden, most recently President, International Developmental Licensed (IDL) Markets, has been appointed to President, International, effective immediately. Borden will continue reporting to Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's President and Chief Executive Officer. This announcement follows the appointment of Joe Erlinger to President, McDonald's USA.

In his new role, Borden will assume oversight for all international markets, including International Operated Markets (IOM) which include all wholly-owned markets outside of the U.S., in addition to the more than 80 markets in the IDL segment that he oversees in his current role.

"Ian has a proven record of focusing on the customer to deliver profitable business growth while strengthening collaboration with our global franchisee community," said Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's President and Chief Executive Officer. "His deep experiences leading McDonald's in markets across the world uniquely position him to connect the dots to drive strong results. I'm delighted to announce his expanded role for McDonald's and am confident he and the talented leaders in our wholly-owned and developmentally licensed markets will make McDonald's even better throughout the communities in which we operate."

Borden said: "Our international markets have strong momentum and incredible growth opportunities. I look forward to working closely with franchisees, suppliers and company teams across all of our international markets to strengthen the ties between McDonald's and our customers."

About Ian Borden Borden joined McDonald's 25 years ago. Most recently, he served as President, IDL Markets with responsibility for over 80 markets around the world. Previously, he worked in operational leadership roles in international markets and also served as Chief Financial Officer of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa segment.

About McDonald's McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 93% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

View source version at McDonald's

Stacey Pool Named Chief Marketing Officer at Noodles & Company

December 09, 2019 16:05 ET

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Dec. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS) today announced that Stacey Pool has been named Chief Marketing Officer, effective December 30, 2019. She will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Dave Boennighausen.

“We are delighted to welcome Stacey Pool to the Noodles Team,” said Dave Boennighausen, Chief Executive Officer. “As a highly skilled marketing leader, Stacey has a strong track record of utilizing guest and business insights to create targeted and personalized marketing strategies, and brings with her deep digital experience across multiple industries. We believe she is a great fit for Noodles as we continue to position our brand for sustained top-line growth and margin expansion.”

Prior to joining Noodles, Ms. Pool held a variety of leadership roles at Vail Resorts, Inc., a premier mountain resort company, including leading the company’s industry-leading season pass efforts and the introduction of the first digital mountain assistant. In her most recent role as Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing, she successfully led her team to deliver double-digit revenue growth by advancing guest segmentation and personalization capabilities, improving brand awareness, and executing fully integrated marketing campaigns. Before joining Vail Resorts, Ms. Pool was at Nike, Inc., where she defined the vision and strategy for the digital experience.

“I am thrilled to be joining Noodles & Company at this exciting time,” said Ms. Pool. “As a longtime fan and guest, I have witnessed firsthand the recent evolution of the brand and I look forward to working with the team to expand the company’s visibility and reach its potential.”

About Noodles & Company

Since 1995, Noodles & Company has been serving noodles your way, from noodles and flavors that you know and love, to new ones you’re about to discover for the first time. From indulgent Wisconsin Mac & Cheese to good-for-you Zoodles, Noodles serves a world of flavor in every bowl. Made up of more than 450 restaurants and 10,000 passionate team members, Noodles is dedicated to nourishing and inspiring every guest who walks through the door. To learn more or find the location nearest you, visit

View source version at Noodles & Company

Cathy Engelbert Elected to McDonald's Board of Directors

Dec 09, 2019, 07:01 ET

CHICAGO, Dec. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) announced today that business executive Catherine M. Engelbert was elected to the company's Board of Directors, effective December 6, 2019.

Engelbert, 55, currently serves as the first-ever Commissioner for the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), where she is responsible for setting the vision for the WNBA and overseeing the day-to-day business and basketball operations.  As Commissioner, Engelbert's role has focused on bolstering visibility for the WNBA, empowering players, and growing the league's business.

Prior to joining the WNBA in July 2019, Engelbert had a distinguished career at Deloitte, most recently as the Chief Executive Officer from 2015 to 2019. In this role, Engelbert became the first woman ever to lead a Big Four professional services firm in the U.S., overseeing more than 100,000 employees.

"Cathy is an exceptional leader with a track record of guiding organizations to strength and success," said Enrique Hernandez, Jr., McDonald's Chairman of the Board. "McDonald's will benefit from her fresh perspectives, strong operational experience, and broad financial expertise.  Cathy's election also underscores our commitment to diversity at all levels, from the crew room to the board room."

"Cathy is a leader who has challenged convention to deliver tangible change," said Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's President and Chief Executive Officer. "I am inspired by her people-first approach to business and looking forward to benefiting from her entrepreneurial thinking across our global organization."

"McDonald's is a well-known and admired global brand with a rich legacy of modernizing itself to meet ever changing societal needs and expectations," Engelbert said.  "I'm proud to be joining the Board now at this important time, and I look forward to contributing to its global impact."

Engelbert serves on the Board of Directors for Catalyst, a global nonprofit that works to accelerate women into leadership. She also serves on the Board of Partnership for NYC and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Engelbert received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Lehigh University and is a certified public accountant licensed in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

About McDonald's McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 93% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

View source version at McDonald's

Pizza Hut's U.S. Brand Chief Departs

No reason was given for the departure of Marianne Radley after just more than a year as U.S. chief brand officer.

By Jonathan Maze on Dec. 09, 2019

Marianne Radley has left as Pizza Hut’s U.S. chief brand officer after just more than a year on the job, parent company Yum Brands confirmed Monday.

A Pizza Hut spokesperson said that Radley “is no longer with Pizza Hut U.S.” and that “her backfill will be the subject of a future announcement.”

No reason was given for Radley’s departure.

The change in brand chief comes just more than a year after Radley was named to the position. She had previously been a marketing executive with Monster Energy.

Under Radley, Pizza Hut had been increasingly aggressive with its marketing strategies, testing a plant-based topping in a round box at a location in Arizona, expanding beer delivery and inking partnerships with other brands. It tried a Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza, for instance.

Yet the brand has struggled to gain traction with its new NFL partnership, which it kicked off last year.

Same-store sales at the Plano, Texas-based brand have languished, including a decline of 3% in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

View source version at Pizza Hut

Black Bear Diner Hires Industry Veteran Joe Adney as Chief Marketing Officer

As CMO, Joe Adney will drive the brand’s marketing efforts; family dining brand also hires Camille Chavez to lead training and development

December 09, 2019 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

REDDING, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Black Bear Diner, the fast-growing, family dining concept that offers a one-of-a-kind experience and home-style comfort food classics in a friendly, bear-themed atmosphere, has hired Joe Adney as Chief Marketing Officer and Camille Chavez as Vice President of Training and Development.

The new hires highlight the brand’s continuous efforts to build Black Bear Diner’s executive leadership team following years of growth and geographic expansion. Adney will report to Black Bear Diner President Anita Adams and Chavez will report to Chief People Officer Tammy Johns.

Adney is a longtime brand and marketing strategist whose expertise lies in successfully positioning high-growth restaurant brands. He’s previously led marketing efforts for companies including Bob Evans Farms, IHOP, Baskin-Robbins USA and Shari’s Management Corporation. As CMO, Adney will oversee all of Black Bear Diner’s marketing and advertising efforts, ensuring its message of bear-sized portions and hospitality reaches customers across all communications channels.

“Black Bear Diner is a unique, authentic brand that extends genuine hospitality and truly delicious food to its guests, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to refine and strengthen our message and mission to more guests nationwide,” said Adney. “I look forward to working alongside the company’s incredible leadership team as we work to amplify the brand and grow its footprint.”

As VP of Training and Development, Chavez is responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive employee training programs company-wide, which will enhance operations of Black Bear Diner’s 138 locations across 14 states. Chavez brings more than 30 years of training expertise to Black Bear Diner, most recently serving as the Director of Training for Farmer Boys Foods, a family dining brand with locations in California.

“I could not be more excited to join the Black Bear Diner team and to have the opportunity to continue to promote our culture across the country,” said Chavez. “The true spirit and integrity of a brand begins with the team members, and I look forward to ensuring Black Bear Diner remains the best in the industry.”

“On behalf of the entire team, I’d like to welcome both Joe and Camille to the Black Bear Diner family,” said Adams. “As we continue to expand our diner count, strengthen our leadership team, and introduce Black Bear Diner across the country, we know that Joe and Camille’s expertise will be incredibly valuable in upholding our exceptional performance, brand values, and people-first culture.”

Black Bear Diner has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing franchises in the country, with 19 units opened in 2019. The company continues to disrupt the family-dining segment with its top-notch performance, delicious house-made meals and exemplary growth.

About Black Bear Diner

Founded in Mt. Shasta, Calif., in 1995, Black Bear Diner brings home-style comfort food classics and personal service to the dining experience. The quickly growing family dining concept, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offers a vast, enticing menu anchored in hearty portions and excellent value, with service rooted in genuine hospitality. The franchise now operates 138 locations in 14 states and growing. Black Bear Diner has been consistently recognized for its significant growth and outstanding performance. The company has been recognized as a Top 10 Customer Service Winner, a Top 10 Fastest-Growing Chain and a Top Disruptor from Nation’s Restaurant News. Franchise Times has called Black Bear Diner one of the “smartest-growing brands” in the country. For a full menu and additional information, please visit

View source version at Black Bear Diner

Saladworks Announces the Hiring of Mark Mears as Interim Chief Marketing Officer

December 3, 2019

Experienced Franchising Executive to Lead Focus on the Next Phase of Growth for the Pennsylvania-based Entrée Salad Concept

Conshohocken, PA  (  Saladworks, the leading entrée salad franchise that offers Guests Create Your Own and specialty salads and bowls, today announces that Mark Mears has joined the team as Interim Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Mears will lead the company’s efforts in elevating the concept to increase Guest frequency in established markets and build brand awareness in emerging markets. The franchise brand is pacing to double in size to have nearly 200 locations open by the end of 2020.

Mears brings over three decades worth of restaurant, retail and hospitality industry experience to his Saladworks role. He has held executive leadership positions including SVP/Chief Marketing Officer for The Cheesecake Factory, EVP/Chief Marketing Officer for Noodles & Company, Chief Marketing Officer for Schlotzsky’s, and President and Chief Concept Officer for Mimi’s Cafe. Mears possesses a unique and diverse background in building growth brands such as PepsiCo/Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, JCPenney and NBC/Universal, among others. Mears is a visionary business leader with a significant track record of building shareholder value by driving innovation and profitable growth among world-class, high profile brands.

Most recently, Mears served as Chief Growth Officer for L.E.A.F. Growth Ventures, LLC—a consulting firm he founded that leverages the power of four revolutionary, purpose-centric processes (Leadership, Engagement, Accountability and Fulfillment) to help individuals, teams and organizations achieve their full growth potential while making a positive, lasting impact in the world.

“Saladworks has a unique opportunity to tap into the way Guests want to dine today, and the company represents an excellent fit with my personal brand,” said Mears. “For me, I love building teams and I love building brands and this is a great opportunity to do both. Saladworks is extremely well-positioned for longevity and success within the fast-casual segment, offering relevant, fresh toppings for an increasingly health-conscious society. No matter how a Guest wants to create their own meal, we give them that option to be original and make something truly unique. After all, each Guest is different, so each Guest’s salad should embrace one’s preferences, whether dietary, nutritional or guided by taste.”

With over 100 restaurants across the country, Saladworks is growing through franchising to meet the rapidly increasing demand for healthier meal options. As Americans experience a cultural shift toward incorporating a variety of dietary needs and nutritional preferences into their lifestyles, providing Guests with customizable, affordable salads is not a new concept for the established originator in the segment. For more than three decades, Saladworks has been providing carefully-chosen, quality ingredients, along with an ongoing commitment to freshness, flavor and value. Now, with the help of Mears, Saladworks is better positioned to reach its full potential as a leader in the Create Your Own salad space.

“Mark is an exceptionally strong addition to the team, and he has previously driven impressive company growth and marketing results at major franchise brands,” said Saladworks CEO, Kelly Roddy. “Over the next year as we enter our next phase of growth to double our locations to reach the 200 mark, Mark will play an integral role, leading our marketing and culinary strategy that will grow our loyal fanbase and increase awareness of our industry-leading franchise opportunity.”

Saladworks provides a scalable investment opportunity and strong unit-level profitability for entrepreneurs looking to bring healthy, fresh meal options to their communities. The company is expanding its franchise unit count through both traditional restaurant locations and also at  nontraditional venues such as airports, military bases and universities. The brand currently has many prime markets still available for franchise development and is actively identifying franchise partners in major cities including Pittsburgh, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Boston, Atlanta and Chicago, while also pursuing franchise development across the states of Ohio, Virginia, New Jersey and North Carolina.

To learn more about franchising opportunities, visit

About Saladworks

Saladworks, the nation’s leading entrée salad destination, serves people nature’s best, one salad at a time. America’s original fast-casual salad concept, Saladworks first opened its doors in 1986 and launched its first franchised location in 2001. Today, guests can visit Saladworks in over 100 different locations in eighteen states and two countries. At Saladworks, all salads are made to order, one at a time, from a wide variety of the freshest vegetables, fruits, proteins and delicious dressings. Saladworks guests can create their own salad, or enjoy one of many signature and seasonal salads, together with a selection of freshly-made complementary products like wraps and soups. In 2018 and 2019, Saladworks was ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 200 Food and Restaurant Franchises list, Franchise Dictionary Magazine’s Top 100 Game Changers for 2018, and also on the Top 100 Movers and Shakers by From 2017 through 2019, Saladworks ranked on the Franchise Times Top 200+. For franchise information, visit

View source version at Saladworks

Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. Names Anthony E. Hull as Chief Financial Officer

November 25, 2019 07:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

SYRACUSE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (“Carrols” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: TAST) today announced that it has appointed Anthony “Tony” E. Hull as the Company’s Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer effective January 2, 2020.

Daniel T. Accordino, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carrols, commented, “Tony is a fantastic addition to the Carrols executive team and we look forward to benefiting from his well-established credentials and experience. Throughout his extensive career, he has demonstrated effective leadership across a number of different industries while making impressive contributions along the way. We are excited for Tony to be joining us as we strengthen Carrols' foundation of operating two world-class brands with significant scale advantages and realize growth opportunities across multiple attractive markets. We are confident that he can elevate our finance function to an even higher level of excellence.”

Accordino concluded, “We would also like to thank Tim LaLonde for serving as our Interim CFO since September when he temporarily rejoined Carrols upon the passing of our late CFO Paul Flanders. Tim will continue to serve as our Interim CFO until January 2, 2020 when Tony will start as CFO and will serve in a transitionary role for a period of time after January 2, 2020.”

Mr. Hull is a results-oriented, accomplished Chief Financial Officer at both public and private companies with domestic and international operations in a broad range of industries. He is a hands-on, highly motivated and driven leader with in-depth operational business expertise and a proven track record over a distinguished career spanning more than three and a half decades.

Mr. Hull most recently served a Senior Advisor on corporate strategy and capital markets projects at Realogy Holdings Corp. and previously was the company’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer from 2006 to 2018. During his tenure, he was responsible for financial and strategic planning, accounting, budgeting, capital structure, controls and compliance, mergers and acquisitions, procurement, and facilities, among other disciplines. His accomplishments there included leading a successful financial strategy during the housing downturn, completing a sale of the company to a private equity firm in 2007, executing the second largest US IPO in 2012, strengthening the company’s capital structure, achieving more than $100 million on run-rate cost savings, and spearheading numerous technology-based investments/acquisitions to enhance the value proposition.

Previously, Mr. Hull served as Executive Vice President, Finance at Cendant Corporation from 2003 to 2005. At Cendant he was responsible for financial, strategic, and capital planning and sourced, managed, and executed company-wide domestic and international mergers and acquisitions activity.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Hull was Head of Finance, Accounting and IT at DreamWorks, LLC from 1996 to 2003; Chief Financial Officer at King World Productions, Inc. from 1994 to 1995; and Corporate Vice President, Financial Planning at Paramount Communications, Inc. from 1990 to 1994. He began his career at Morgan Stanley & Co. in the mergers and acquisitions department for the media/entertainment group, where he served as Associate and later Vice President from 1984 to 1990.

Mr. Hull currently sits on the Board of Directors for Landis Technologies, a start-up venture that provides assistance and guidance to families in attaining home ownership on an accelerated basis.

He holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA from Amherst College.

About the Company

Carrols is one of largest restaurant franchisees in the United States, and currently operates 1,093 restaurants. It is the largest BURGER KING® franchisee in the United States currently operating 1,032 BURGER KING® restaurants and also operating 61 POPEYES® restaurants. It has operated BURGER KING® restaurants since 1976. For more information on Carrols, please visit the company's website at

View source version at Carrols

Wingstop Appoints Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of People

November 22, 2019 07:00 ET

DALLAS, Nov. 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING) today announced the appointment of Christina Clarke as Chief Marketing Officer, previously interim Chief Marketing Officer of Wingstop, and Donnie Upshaw as Senior Vice President of People, previously Vice President of Human Resources.

"Cultivating and promoting talent within our organization is a cornerstone of the path toward long-term growth and success at Wingstop,” said Charlie Morrison, Wingstop Chairman and CEO. “Christina has contributed tremendously to our marketing strategy, and Donnie’s extensive expertise in talent management has already proved fruitful to our growing talent base. Both Christina and Donnie embody the leadership qualities that will continue to help us execute against our growth strategy.”

Since joining Wingstop in 2018, Christina has made significant contributions to Wingstop’s national advertising strategy. In Feb. 2019, Christina helped spearhead the brand’s new campaign, Where Flavor Gets Its Wings. This campaign, coupled with the increased rollout of delivery and the expansion of digital sales mix, has contributed to domestic same store sales growth of 10.7% through the first three quarters of 2019.

Donnie joined Wingstop in 2018 and has made a tremendous impact on the organization by refining the talent management framework and helping build a culture and organization that positions Wingstop for its next phase of industry-leading growth. As SVP of People, Donnie will continue building the company’s talent and culture by anchoring the people strategy to the organization’s goal of becoming a top 10 global restaurant brand.

About Wingstop Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Dallas, TX, Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING) operates and franchises more than 1,300 locations worldwide. The Wing Experts are dedicated to Serving the World Flavor through an unparalleled guest experience and offering of classic wings, boneless wings and tenders, always cooked to order and hand-sauced-and-tossed in fans’ choice of 11 bold, distinctive flavors. Wingstop’s menu also features signature sides including fresh-cut, seasoned fries and freshly-made ranch and bleu cheese dips.

In 2018, Wingstop’s system-wide sales increased 16% year-over-year to $1.3 billion, marking the 15th consecutive year of same store sales growth as well as 290% shareholder return since its 2015 initial public offering. With a vision of becoming a Top 10 Global Restaurant Brand, its system is comprised of independent brand partners who account for more than 98% of Wingstop’s total restaurant count of 1,340 as of September 28, 2019. In February 2019, the Company launched its new tagline and creative campaign “Where Flavor Gets Its Wings” and continued the rollout of national delivery. Wingstop generates more than 35% of sales via digital channels including, the Wingstop app, and Wingbot™, Wingstop’s social ordering platform available on Facebook Messenger, Twitter, SMS text and Amazon Alexa. The Company has been ranked on Franchise Business Review’s “Top 30 Food and Beverage Franchises” (2019), Fast Casual’s “Movers & Shakers” (2019), QSR Magazine’s “The Industry’s 9 Best Franchise Deals” (2019) and “The QSR Top 50” (2019) for limited-service restaurants in the U.S.

For more information visit or and follow @Wingstop on Twitter and Instagram and at Learn more about Wingstop’s involvement in its local communities at

View source version at Wingstop

Paul Macaluso Joins Another Broken Egg Cafe as President & CEO

November 22, 2019

Orlando, FL  (  Another Broken Egg Cafe of America Franchising, LLC, a division of The Beekman Group, today announced the addition of Paul M. Macaluso as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

“Since The Beekman Group acquired the brand in late 2017, we have dedicated our efforts to assisting Another Broken Egg Cafe in strengthening its leadership team and making strategic and meaningful investments,” stated Chris Artinian, Managing Director for The Beekman Group.    “After a comprehensive nationwide search, during which we identified and evaluated a number of highly-qualified candidates, Paul emerged as the clear choice to become our new President and Chief Executive Officer.”

Paul is an enthusiastic, hands-on leader with experience in a variety of executive and senior positions and a 25+ year reputation for driving results at respected brands throughout the restaurant industry. He brings a diverse breadth of experience to Another Broken Egg Cafe, including operations, franchising and marketing. “We are excited to work together with Paul and the other talented members of our executive team to continue our strong growth momentum from both existing cafes and new franchise development into the upcoming decade and beyond,” Artinian added.

Paul began his career as a Restaurant General Manager with the Taco Bell Corporation and went on to hold various operations and marketing roles within that company. After 10 years at Taco Bell®, Paul progressed to various brand strategy, menu development and product marketing positions for both the Burger King Corporation and Sonic Drive-ins. From there, Paul joined FOCUS Brands® and held a variety of senior marketing and brand strategy positions in which he leveraged his talents to grow sales and guest relevance for a portfolio that included McAlister’s® Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Schlotzsky’s®, Carvel®, Auntie Anne’s® and Cinnabon®. In 2016, Paul was promoted within FOCUS Brands to become President of McAlister’s Deli, where he led the brand to record setting EBITDA and new restaurant openings. Paul’s most recent role, prior to joining Another Broken Egg Cafe, was as President and CEO of The Krystal Company, where he led a brand revitalization effort including rebuilding aged restaurants, achieving positive same store-sales, improving unit level profitability and restarting the franchise sales pipeline.

Paul Macaluso commented on his excitement to join the Another Broken Egg Cafe team, stating that he was initially attracted to the brand by its incredible menu, industry-leading business model and the opportunity to be part of a team that will achieve accelerated and monumental growth. “I have tremendous respect for the brand and our owners at The Beekman Group,” added Macaluso. “I look forward to joining the passionate and talented executive team at Another Broken Egg Cafe, successfully collaborating with existing franchisees and continuing to leverage the strong new franchise growth momentum the brand has enjoyed for the past few years.”

Paul holds a BS/Communication and an MBA from Florida State University.  He and his wife Taylor are the proud parents of four children, Bianca, Lorenzo, Rocco and Emerson.

About Another Broken Egg Cafe®

Another Broken Egg of America Franchising, LLC is an upscale breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant that specializes in award-winning, Southern-inspired menu options with innovative twists and signature cocktails. Another Broken Egg Cafe® is one of the fastest-growing daytime-only concepts in the country, with 68 locations in 12 states and dozens more in development. The company was honored in 2017 by Winsight Media with its Leader in Foodservice Full-Service Award and ranked by Franchise Times magazine as one of their Fast & Serious Smartest-Growing Brands. Another Broken Egg Cafe® was named by FSR magazine as one of the 14 Restaurant Chains Ready for Lift-Off in 2018. For more information about franchising opportunities, please visit

About The Beekman Group

The Beekman Group is a private equity firm, based in New York City, dedicated to partnering with management teams to grow companies into market leading businesses. Beekman manages over $800 million of capital and has access to additional capital through strategic co-investment relationships. Beekman focuses on lower middle market investments in service-related sectors including business services, healthcare services, and consumer. Beekman partners with management teams who desire to be significant owners and create meaningful value by accelerating organic and acquisition growth initiatives. The Beekman team consists of experienced private equity professionals, as well as a select group of Operating Advisors, who are leading executives in Beekman’s targeted industry segments. This Industry Advisor approach to investing is the cornerstone of Beekman’s investment strategy – bringing financial and operational resources to lower middle market companies in order to accelerate growth and create value for all shareholders. For more information, please visit

View source version at Another Broken Egg

Smokey Bones Names James O’Reilly as New CEO

November 21, 2019

Aventura, FL  (  Smokey Bones has appointed longtime restaurateur James O’Reilly as the new CEO.  O’Reilly joins Smokey Bones from Long John Silver’s, where he served as CEO for four years.  He was selected by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners for his track record of leadership, brand building, and value creation.

O’Reilly’s plans are to improve restaurant operations and the guest experience, invest in new technology and restaurant development, create greater brand and menu differentiation, and develop cultural initiatives aimed at making Smokey Bones one of the best places to work in South Florida and around the country.

O’Reilly has created success wherever he’s gone.  While at Sonic Drive-In, he led significant sales improvements contributing to an all-time high system revenue of $4 billion.  At Long John Silver’s, O’Reilly led brand and cultural improvements that resulted in the company being named a Best Place to Work in Kentucky by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, and he was named “Turnaround Man”, by the Louisville Courier Journal.  He has also received numerous leadership awards, including being named a Marketer of the Next Generation by BrandWeek.

With more than 20 years of restaurant experience, O’Reilly began his career in the international division of PepsiCo in Canada.  He has held marketing and research and development leadership positions for YUM Brands in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United Kingdom.  He went on to become the CMO of KFC U.S. and senior vice president of U.S. marketing for YUM Brands.  Later, O’Reilly became the CMO and chief brand officer of Sonic Drive-In before becoming the CEO of Long John Silver’s.

About Smokey Bones 

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill is a full-service restaurant delivering good food, good drinks and good times in 62 locations across 16 states.  Smokey Bones serves brunch, lunch and dinner and has a full-bar featuring more than 40 bourbons and whiskeys, 40+ beers and signature, hand-crafted cocktails.  Its award winning slow-smoked and fire grilled favorites are available for dine-in, pick-up, online ordering and catering delivery.  Smokey Bones, Inc. is an affiliate of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners, whose portfolio of restaurants also includes Boston Market, Friendly’s, Johnny Rockets, Bar Louie. For additional information on Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill and a list of all locations nationwide, please visit

View source version at Smokey Bones

California Pizza Kitchen Appoints Giorgio Minardi as Executive Vice President of Global Development & Franchise Operations, Announces Franchise Growth Plans For 2020

November 21, 2019

Under Minardi’s leadership, the global restaurant brand intends to enter new markets abroad as well as expand franchise operations in Asia, Australia, and the Middle East

Los Angeles, CA  (  California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) has announced the appointment of Giorgio Minardi as Executive Vice President of Global Development & Franchise Operations. Minardi will lead the development of CPK’s international and domestic franchise business, most immediately focusing on an aggressive growth strategy to bring the beloved California-style pizza brand to more cities and countries across the globe.

Under Minardi’s leadership, CPK sees significant opportunities to add to the company’s presence in Asia with a focus on Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia. Expansion in the Middle East, Australia, and Europe will also be additional areas of focus starting in 2020.

“CPK is proud to welcome Giorgio to the executive team,” said Jim Hyatt, CEO of CPK. “We’re confident that his unique blend of marketing, operational, and development experience building global brands, including significant on-the-ground experience in Asia, Europe, Middle East, and the North American markets will be a great asset to CPK as we set out to meet our aggressive international and franchise growth targets for 2020 and beyond.”

Minardi brings more than 35 years of global restaurant business experience to CPK, most recently as the International President at Madrid-based Telepizza Group, leading an IPO launch for the company and entry into five new international markets. Prior, Minardi held roles as the International President for Dunkin’ Brands, where he led global growth of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands, supporting more than 8,000 stores in 40 countries, as well as international leadership roles for Burger King and McDonald’s.

Currently, CPK has 40 international franchise locations in 10 countries, as well as 16 domestic franchise locations in airports, casinos, and other non-traditional restaurant locations throughout the United States.

CPK’s franchise business has gained noteworthy momentum recently with new locations in Guam, Philadelphia International Airport, The Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Nev., plus new product rollouts, including the introduction of the brand’s popular, industry-first Cauliflower Pizza Crust, in its key global markets of South Korea, Mexico, and Dubai. With aggressive expansion plans, CPK is modernizing the brand’s footprint, bringing trend-forward, California creative dining to a global audience.

“If the world can agree on one thing, it’s a love for great pizza and a warm, welcoming environment to enjoy it in with friends and family,” said Minardi. “I look forward to working with CPK’s world-class franchise partners to bring the already beloved brand to even more guests around the globe.”

Founded in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 1985, California Pizza Kitchen celebrates 34 years of doing things differently, colliding unexpected flavors and high-quality ingredients that have become global favorites, like the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, a #1 global seller. In addition to artisan, California-style pizzas, CPK’s menu includes unique pastas, salads, beverages and more made with fresh, high-quality ingredients, all prepared from scratch in CPK’s open kitchens centered around its yellow-tile pizza ovens. Recent menu innovations include CPK’s industry-first Cauliflower Pizza Crust, a delicious veggie-based crust made with gluten-free ingredients, healthful Power Bowls and premium California-style sangrias.

About California Pizza Kitchen

In 1985, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) opened its first restaurant in Beverly Hills and introduced diners to innovative California-style pizza. With a passion for combining fresh, seasonal ingredients with flavor inspirations from around the world, today CPK is a global brand serving creative California cuisine in more than 240 restaurants in 10 countries and U.S. territories. From signature, hand-tossed pizzas and high-quality main plates to inventive better-for-you options, Lunch Duos, premium wines and handcrafted beverages, CPK adds its imaginative twist to create a memorable dining experience. For more information, visit Connect with CPK on Twitter at @calpizzakitchen, Instagram at @cpk, and Facebook at Download the CPK Rewards™ app for iOS and Android to earn rewards for dining creatively, pay by mobile, order online and more.

View source version at California Pizza Kitchen

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